Home site editorial guidelines

With the endorsement of University Advancement, the Digital Communications Council — formerly the Homepage Editorial Board — oversees all links placed on the UO home site. The council will evaluate the relevance of links and the effectiveness of the site’s navigation. Council members routinely mine the UO’s web analytics and audit the sites of regional and AAU institutions, analyzing them for best practices. This provides a chance for the University of Oregon to be innovative when possible but also to avoid common pitfalls. The council is chaired by the Director of Digital and Social Media Communications, a unit within University Advancement.

A to Z Index
The Digital and Social Media Communications team manages all links in the A to Z Index for websites and social media channels for departments. As a general rule, for a link to be placed in the A to Z Index, it must clearly be associated with a University of Oregon program, department or unit and have a uoregon.edu url. For a unit's social media pages to be included, there must be a corresponding UO link to include. The Office of Communications reserves the right to remove any links from the A to Z Index that do not meet Communication Standards for the Web. In addition, if urls change or no longer work, it is the department's responsibility to request updates from Digital and Social Media Communications.

Feature stories are aimed at external audiences, chiefly tailored to the interests of prospective students. Prospective students are the single most important audience but donors and other supporters and prospective faculty and staff are also key audiences. Feature stories should:

  • illustrate how the university accomplishes its missions of teaching, research, and community service.
  • emphasize themes identified in the university’s communications strategy (i.e, diversity, accessibility, academic strength, sustainability).
  • focus on a single person or a very small group, preferably, or event—not programs or policies.
  • be built around a focused narrative event that illustrates a larger point—and not a time-centered or comprehensive news type of story. (For example, a homepage feature might focus on a transformational moment of a single winner of a commencement award, with a link to a news story with the entire list of winners and descriptions of the awards).
  • include important milestones for the university (such as the dedication of the Lokey Laboratories).
  • have at least one strong photograph to accompany it, and with few exceptions should feature some form of video.
  • average about 250 words with an upper limit of 400 words.
  • be planned at least three weeks in advance to allow for writing, editing and video production.
  • be written or adapted expressly for the web, with an eye toward search engine optimization.

The Highlights section is an unmarked area just above the admissions section in the right column of the homepage. It is used for short-term links for time-sensitive or high-priority items, for example, a link to campus-based information on the Olympic Trials or a link to the latest issue of Oregon Quarterly.

Emergency alerts should be used for just that -- emergency alerts to campus. Alerts use the most prominent position on the homepage to convey urgent messages to the campus community. The Digital and Social Media Communications team, under the direction of the Office of Strategic Communications, will control these alerts. They must convey urgent messages about health and safety of the campus community and will not be used for routine communication with the campus community.

The News and Events sections of the homepage are managed by Office of Communications, following standard procedures for news releases and calendar items.